Country Living Series

Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy post-Resurrection Day!

Sorry I didn't get a post up yesterday, it turned out to be far busier than I planned.

The highlight was attending church, of course.


On this day, because the crowds are overflowing, the church rents a theater hall at a local college to hold the main service. Later I looked up the seating capacity, and it came in at 1150, and I estimate 80 percent of the seats were full.


The thing about attending a huge church service -- something we seldom do, since our church isn't a "mega"-sized entity -- is the sheer wattage of joy that overflows from the worshippers. We opened with a rousing version of the hymn "Jesus Christ is risen today" and it brought chills. On the stage was a choir, some additional singers, a bell choir, and a small brass ensemble, so the music swelled along with the voices.

On the left is the church's pastor emeritus, who retired a short time before we began attending. He's substituted during a few services over the past couple of years, and it's easy to see why he was so well-loved by the congregation -- he's fabulous. He gave the readings.


The pastor in the middle is the senior pastor, a powerful speaker and joyous soul whose voice, unfortunately, was raspy after so many back-to-back services. He gave everything but the sermon.

The pastor on the right is the assistant pastor hired last year, a man with an extraordinary amount of foreign missionary experience. He's fluent in several languages, including Russian and Polish, and spent many years in remote areas of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Ukraine, etc. He delivered a rousing sermon.

This is my WND column for the weekend, entitled "Cheap Grace."


In response to the column, I received an email from an atheist reader as follows:
Your basic assumption is that the Bible is written by God when it was written by many men and politically rationalized under the Nicea agreement. God could easily convince us all he is real but does not bother; men have to play games with bronze age authors to make themselves important, writing things that control people.

It is such an obvious fabrication that young people have no time for such [expletive deleted].

You are past your sell by date when you cannot recognized such obvious fraud. The current and future generations will not be so naïve. Jesus, a great personage, will go the way of Apollo, Zeus, Ishtaar and Thor.
This email saddened me -- not for the hateful tone (I'm used to that) but because this man is missing out on the sheer joy that comes with faith. Sad, very sad.

At one point during the service, a thousand voices recited the Lord's Prayer in unison. A thousand people, praying the familiar prayer given by Jesus himself. Top that for sheer power.

I hope, dear readers, you all experienced a blessed Resurrection Day. Christ is risen, He is risen indeed. Hallelujah!

14 comments:

  1. You really can't reason with atheists, they are forced by the failure of belief that causes their atheism, to be strident and adamant in that belief. You CAN pray for them though.

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  2. Not only is this man missing out on the sheer joy that comes with faith, he is lost. Pure and simple - he is lost. I pray that the Holy Spirit can get through to him in time.

    Jesus is Lord!
    Janet in MA

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  3. I feel so sad for people that don't see God in their life. I see God in my life every day.

    Rita in VA

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  4. He is risen, indeed!

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  5. Ah, the thief on the cross. What an awesome lesson. Related to that scripture, readers may enjoy this beautiful chant from Taizé, France.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6tVReXsioM

    Montana Guy

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  6. I find most atheists are very unhappy people; so unhappy in fact, that they feel compelled to attempt to rob others of their relationship with Jesus Christ, and thus, their happiness as well. The atheist playbook is very similar, in fact, to that of another entity; the one over whom Jesus rose victorious!

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  7. the phrase 'poor choices' is a euphemism and needs to be replaced with the word 'sin'.

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  8. I find it interesting, for lack of a better word, that so many unbelievers find it necessary to vehemently tell Christians why their faith is so wrong. This tells me that they know something is there, or they wouldn't be so passionately opposed to us. May the Holy Spirit soften their hearts, convict them, and our Lord to become their Savior.

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  9. I know a 65 or so year old with 30 plus years working as a gov't biologist. He has a Masters in Biology. He told us he has questioned, his colleagues have questioned and for all he has seen, learned and experienced there is absolutely NO WAY that all of this "just happened". It was created by God. Natokadn

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  10. I'm not a big church goer, it doesn't keep me from being a believing, praying Christian. I can't help wanting to ask this 'unbeliever' how then do so many cultures across the world share such similar lore, such as Noah's Ark aka the Great Canoe; of the Great Flood? These cultures never met, their stories were there before the coming of missionaries. What would that person's answer be?

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  11. I guess in a way we can't blame this man for the way he feels. There have been many phony religious nuts in recent years who have mislead many people. It takes some good common sense to be able to read the Bible and understand how our Heavenly Father inspired people then and now. We all know in our hearts what is right and what is wrong. Even those claiming they don't believe go FAR out of their way to make their point. Why? Because they know deep in their hearts there IS a God and they know what He wants of us all. They deeply desire to be one of God's children, but their sinful pride and stubbornness keeps them away. Pride and stubbornness that come directly from the "father of lies" and that are stoked by liberal progressives! We need much patience, love and prayer for the unbelievers. --Fred in AZ

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  12. I was like this atheist for 40 years ,pray he too may become an "annoying Christian" soon !!! So much JOY now. Jesus save him too !

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  13. do you by chance attend a Lutheran church? We sang those same songs on Easter. Beautiful

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